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Evening Walkthrough With Reporters at Six-Party Talks

Christopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
St. Regis Hotel
Beijing, China
August 13, 2007

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Who is the cameraman who ran in? I want to sign him up for the Olympics. That was amazing. [Laughter.]

QUESTION: Are we agreeing with the bilateral working groups’ schedule?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Yes. We discussed the schedule and the place. We have a tentative agreement I need to work through Washington and make sure it is okay. But yes, we have a point forward on that.

QUESTION: Can you tell us?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: No, I can’t. You’ll learn soon. I think I ought to tell Secretary Rice before I tell you. It is a procedure we have.

QUESTION: Late August?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Yes.

QUESTION: What else have you discussed today?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Most of the conversation dealt with the denuclearization working group. The DPRK gave us a sort of preview of their thinking about the meeting later this week. We gave a preview of some of our thinking. I think it is going to be a very good meeting and a very serious meeting.

QUESTION: Is there a difference between your view and their view on disablement?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: No, actually. I think we have an agreement that we are going to try to identify types of disablement and how we can approach it.

QUESTION: Has everything been accomplished under Roman numeral II of the February Agreement besides actions taking place in parallel?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Five actions?

QUESTION: Yongbyon, assistance -- you know, there were five actions under Roman numeral II.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Yes, I think we are in good shape on that. What we have been discussing, of course, is Roman numeral IV, which still has work to do -- because we have to figure out the sequence of those actions. But there was very positive work done on the energy and economic assistance working group. We would hope to have a good working group at the end of this week -- such that when we meet again in the Six Parties, we should be able to put together a plan for implementation of this next phase.

QUESTION: Did the North Koreans bring up this evening anything about the Trading with the Enemy Act?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We discussed a lot of different things, including some bilateral issues. We also agreed, as I said earlier, that we need to have a bilateral working group to really go into these in depth.

QUESTION: One other thing on Roman numeral II. The North Koreans were supposed to start discussing their nuclear programs. Where are you in that?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We had discussions about that, but I think we agreed we’ve had enough discussions on that. Now we have to go to the (inaudible) of Roman numeral IV, which is the actual declaration.

QUESTION: For a comprehensive list?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: For a comprehensive list.

QUESTION: Is there any difference between where you are and where they are?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I think we’ll probably want more detail than is available today, but I think we’ll be okay on that.

QUESTION: What about dismantlement? Do you two have the same common definition of what dismantlement is?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We have the same common definitions of disablement. But we haven’t gotten to the phase after that.

QUESTION: The tentative agreement you set, does it includes any timeframes for disablement?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: When I said tentative agreement, it was on the meeting of our working group, which is the bilateral working group. We have a place in mind and a date in mind. In answer to the question, I said it was late August. But I need to check with people in Washington before I confirm it.

QUESTION: You were at the [North Korean] Embassy more than four hours. Was it in meetings? How long was the meeting? How long was the dinner?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I think the meeting was probably two-thirds of the time. We discussed a lot of aspects of the February agreement.

QUESTION: How was the atmosphere?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Pretty good. The atmosphere was very businesslike.

QUESTION: Mr. Hill, did you meet at the [North Korean] Embassy?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We had dinner there in the Embassy, yes, in a different room. We moved from the meeting room to a dining room.

QUESTION: Are you going to continue the bilateral with the North Koreans too?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Tomorrow I have a bilateral with the Chinese side, and I also have a meeting earlier in the day with the Chinese, but on U.S.-Chinese bilateral issues.

QUESTION: Are you going to stay in Beijing tomorrow night?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I’m going to stay in Beijing tomorrow night, and I think I take a flight up to Dalian very early on Wednesday. I don’t recommend it. I don’t recommend the flight, it’s like 7:30 or some time like that. I’m looking forward to seeing Dalian. It’s supposed to be a very interesting coastal city in China. After that, I think I’ll drive up from Dalian to Shenyang.

QUESTION: Are you going to have a trilateral with the Chinese, U.S. and North Koreans tomorrow?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: No. The reason we had this little bilateral meeting today was Kim Gye-gwan has to get back to Pyongyang for some other responsibilities tomorrow morning.

QUESTION: So he’s not going to participate in the denuclearization talks?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: You will have to ask him that, but he has to leave tomorrow morning, Tuesday morning, to get back to Pyongyang.

QUESTION: You talked about disablement. Do you include such specific things like plutonium that’s already been weaponized? Or are you planning to bring this up in your working group meetings?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We discussed all of those items, yes.

QUESTION: So is there something that you have to put fully in the declaration before any sort of peremptory disablement happens? Or might it happen before --

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: We had a discussion about the sequence of the declaration and disablement. We did discuss these issues, and in particular we discussed the question of what is being precisely declared and what is being disabled. We were discussing all the issues you just asked.

QUESTION: Was there any follow-on to discussions to the Panmunjom talks about economic modalities for energy?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: No, we didn’t really have a follow-on, except that we agreed that these were good discussions.

PRESS OFFICER: Just one more question. It’s been a long day.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: A long day and long night.

QUESTION: Aside from your meetings with the Chinese tomorrow, what else do you have on the schedule?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I think I have two separate meetings with the Chinese at MFA. There may be other things, but that’s all as far as I know.

QUESTION: Can you tell us the approximate times that you will have the different meetings?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I think I will go to the Embassy in the morning, and I think I have a lunch at the Foreign Ministry. Then I think I have a three o’clock meeting at the Foreign Ministry. And I’m sure there will some other events, but I’m not aware of the time now.

So I’ll leave for the Embassy at 9:30.

QUESTION: Who will be your counterparts in the Foreign Ministry? Is it Wu Dawei and --

ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: I’ll meet with Minister Wu Dawei in the afternoon to discuss the Six-Party -- and he’s also the co-chair of the denuclearization working group. And then at lunch, I think I have a meeting with Assistant Minister He Yafei.

All right. See you later.

QUESTION: Thank you.



Released on August 13, 2007

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